Sunday, 9 October 2016

Palo Cortado Medium VORS 19.5%, Harveys

Well-patinated old mahogany through amber to a trace of green at the rim, legs.
You can tell straight away that this is old; it is perfectly harmonious and fragrant with lots of toasted nuts, the slightest bitter, mineral edge and a delightful implied sweetness with a phenolic oak note from the wood and traces of spice like cinnamon and sandalwood  to balance. It is elegant and serious at the same time.
There is quite an impact on the palate from its concentration, but as that subsides, all its complexity comes through. The nuts have changed into walnuts and have been joined by exotic woods,leather and a slight trace of cinder toffee. It is remarkably dry for a Medium, but between 5 and 115 grams/litre is classified as Medium, so there must be some (but barely perceptible) PX in there to balance the phenolics. The flavour lingers on and on. Delicious.
Some Palos Cortados veer slightly towards Amontillado and some towards Oloroso. This superb wine is right down the middle and is the very definition of the style with lots of Amontillado on the nose and lots of Oloroso on the palate. It is a blend of wines from soleras as old as 1909 with about 10% PX and won everything possible at the International Wine Competition 2016. It shows that it is not only Bristol Cream in those bodegas; there are some real treasures.
Around 25 euros per 50cl bottle from La Vinoteria, Jerez

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